Pick of the Political Pops: Kellis “Caught Out There”

Oh its all very free and easy down here at Americana-Uk Towers. Given the fact that its cold out we’ve turned the central heating up a notch or two and directed the main blast down to The Bunker so that we can (ironically) chill out in comfort whilst observing the madness of the world over a small beverage. Or a large one _delete as appropriate_ depending on one’s preference. We found it quite funny that The Leader of Her Majesties Loyal Opposition has been accused, in certain quarters, of being what we must understand is a ‘traitor’. A crime which the red-headed Tory broadcaster Andrew Neil rightly pointed out would have held the death penalty. We can only assume that some people are very, very scared and as we all know fear breeds anger. And anger breeds hate. We took it in turns to impersonate the Paul Dacre response but could do no better than this:

Simon Linsteadt “February” (Stormy Deep Records 2018)

This album exudes relaxed California cool, which is just as well really as the artist is a native of that State. Without the knowledge that this was a new release it is likley that you would assume that the music here hails from the early 70’s. There are many comparisons that can be made such as America, Poco (indeed Linsteadt’s voice is not unlike that of Timothy B Schmit) Seals & Croft and almost all of the Laurel Canyon brigade. There is a gentleness to the whole work which is essentially acoustic demonstrating Lindsteadt’s guitar skills. Continue reading “Simon Linsteadt “February” (Stormy Deep Records 2018)”

Van Life: The High Divers

Now, some would say it’s a tad ironic to be doing a Van Life feature with a band whose very existence was threatened by their own van flipping over and causing somewhat of an unscheduled hiatus in terms of performing and recording. Thankfully, Charleston’s High Divers are beyond that roadblock and are set to release their new album, ‘Chicora’ on March 2nd. AUK caught up with leadman Luke Mitchell and the band to find out what keeps them tarmac sane and musically nourished on those southern highways and byways.

Continue reading “Van Life: The High Divers”

Maria Kelly ft. Ailbhe Reddy “Threads” – Listen

Seems like a long time since we’ve featured folktronica – not so long ago you couldn’t walk down the street without tripping over a half dozen examples of the genre.  Threads is the new single from Irish singer-songwriter Maria Kelly who has teamed up with rising artist, friend and recent touring buddy Ailbhe Reddy.  The haunting Threads  challenges a non-committal lover to choose: a deeper relationship or the door.  It’s ethereal and reverb heavy, with a booming bass-line sounding like waves breaking on a shingle beach during a decisive twilight walk .  In winter.

Steve Lowis “Chapters” (Independent, 2017)

Albums capture your imagination in different ways. Some grab you by the throat and demand that you listen, some come with a reputation to live up to, some come with expectation and curiosity; every so often one comes along and quietly makes its presence felt and that’s the case with “Chapters”, a new offering from singer/songwriter Steve Lowis. Listening to this collection of well-crafted songs you may not be immediately grabbed but you slowly come to realise that this really is a very good album, well put together and well interpreted by the musicians involved. Continue reading “Steve Lowis “Chapters” (Independent, 2017)”

Reg Meuross “Faraway People” (Hatsongs, 2017)

What’s the function of Folk music these days – does it have any place at all?  If its function was to hold a mirror up to society, then Meuross would have a place in this world. His songs are measured illustrations of the social crises that pockmark our nation, the gradual disintegration of society, the dismantling of the NHS, a government that drives the disabled to suicide, all important issues and all subjects of these songs. Continue reading “Reg Meuross “Faraway People” (Hatsongs, 2017)”

Great Lake Swimmers share two new songs – Listen

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the indie-folk/rock band Great Lake Swimmers led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker who decided for the band’s next record to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar which has always been his instrumental mainstay. He further digressed from previous songwriting patterns by looking at each track individually and then tailoring the instrumentation to bring each song to life in its own distinctive way.  Continue reading “Great Lake Swimmers share two new songs – Listen”

The Dead South “Illusion & Doubt” (DevilDuck, 2018)

Canada is a major home of Americana, but not perhaps where you would look to find bluegrass. The Dead South are firmly established as a self described folk-bluegrass outfit, and are finally bringing their second album to the UK. Their basic cello/acoustic/mandolin/banjo set up is enhanced on record by layering and strings, with tempos and lengths varied to get away from the basic bluegrass fast 2/4 template, the band members backgrounds in classical and metal strongly influencing the stylings. Continue reading “The Dead South “Illusion & Doubt” (DevilDuck, 2018)”